Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Total Surrender- Part 2

In the last post, I talked about the fact that I was punched in the soul by reading a blog.  What I mean by soul punch is that the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin in my life. Sin is disobedience to God, and as a Christian, even if we don't know all the Bible, we still have an inkling of what sin is.  And fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit that guides and directs us and also indicates the sins in our lives.

But once we realize there is a sin, what then.  Part two of this journey to total surrender is response. And I believe there are 3 responses a Christian can have when they have been confronted with their sin.

One response is to ignore it. This is usually the response of a person who is already far from God. This person basically thinks that the current sin is too good to give up right now.  This person usually avoids church, Bible study, and Christian friends, because they don't want to be confronted with their sin. And usually they deny that what they are doing is wrong accompanied by the thought that God doesn't really care about this. "What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath."~ Thomas Watson

The second response I see to sin, is the rationalization of it.  This response could be a comparison of  your sin to another sin or even another person's sin and deciding that your sin isn't really bad because at least it's not those sins.  This response can also be a rallying of other's opinions who validate your sin as something not actually bad.  This can be dangerous though, as it can be accompanied with misuse of scripture. And in some cases people actually start believing that God condones their sin.  An example of this would be saying that because God loves us, surely He wants us to be happy and since I'm happy then it must be okay.  But this is so dangerous because we are saying things that are completely untrue and putting those lies on God. I think this response is the most prevalent, though, as we have allowed the world to affect how we view sin even though it is contrary to what God's word says.  But God's word is the authority and sin is sin. No matter how many people you can find to justify your actions, if God's word calls it sin, then it is wrong.

And the third response to sin, is confession and repentance. Not that it's as simple as two words make it, but true remorse for the sin and remorse for fact that because of said sin, you are not in close fellowship with God truly affects the heart.  And this leads to the confession of the sin before God and heartfelt repentance.  Repenting means that you lay it at Jesus feet, accept God's forgiveness and prayerfully walk completely in the opposite direction of the sin.  I say prayerfully, because it can be a process.  Not a cut and dry I'm done- sin be gone! But a real battle, everyday against the desire of your flesh for that sin.  This is most evidently seen as addiction.  But addiction doesn't have to be for alcohol or drugs.  Addiction can be to porn, praises from others, sex, money, food, etc. and addiction can be overcome with the strength of God.

Once a sin takes root in our lives it is difficult to cut out and remove.  I think that's why so many people choose one of the first two responses.  But the problem with those responses is that to live in sin is to be separate from God.  And as John tells us in 1 John 2:4-6: "Whoever says 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." 

"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.' "1 Peter 1:14-16

I will tell you that for me, over the years, my response to various sins has been a combination of the above responses with the added thought that God doesn't really care about *fill in the blank with one sin or another*.  But God does care about sin, very much.  So much so in fact, that He sent his only son to DIE to pay the debt caused by sin.  And when I am reminded of that fact, I desperately want to confess the sin that I have allowed to take root in my life and to continue on the painful path of repentance as I prayerfully remove the sin and the affect it has had on my thoughts and my actions and lay it at the feet of Jesus. 


What about you, have you been ignoring or rationalizing sin in your life when you really need to confess and repent?

Have you been avoiding church and Christian friends saying it's because you don't want to be "judged", when actually guilt and sin has been keeping you away?

Believe me when I tell you, there is freedom in confession and repentance.  And Jesus is better than any sin you have in your life right now. Stop ignoring or rationalizing the sin and settling for less than God has planned for you.  Totally surrender your life to Christ.  Confess your sin, lay it at Jesus feet, accept God's grace and forgiveness and experience the closer relationship with God you will now have through the repenting of your sins! 



And glory to God, there is freedom in confession and such joy- this I know because with each of these posts, I am sharing my journey with you that I am on right now.  But my story of total surrender doesn't end right here...there's more.


Love in Christ, 

Alyson


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